Way back in the 1990s when I was living in Japan the musician Beck had a hit single called “Loser”. It’s chorus went, “I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me?” Sure the chorus, and the lyrics as well, are sardonic but I find them apt in this age of social media Karate. Any Karateka reading what is online may feel like a ‘loser’ because he thinks that he doesn’t know a thing about Karate compared to “experts” who continually
spam post about the true essence, techniques, and applications of the art. By their standards we’re all ‘losers’ and by listening to them and following their directions we’ll become “winners”. However, the truth of the matter is much harsher and more insidious than this; you are indeed a loser! Not because you’re reading all those posts from supposed experts, although that doesn’t help, but because you’ve relinquished responsibility of your training to someone else. Karate needs to be ‘owned’ by the student. So, I’d like to encourage you to own your training. It doesn’t mean you can’t listen to someone else’s opinion about their opinions, etc., especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, but in the end it’s entirely up to you. No one else is going to make it happen. Not your teacher, not your fellow students and certainly not an “expert” on social media.
Good luck in your training…and now back to editing Mabuni and Nakasone’s ‘Introduction to Karate‘ and maybe a bit of translating of Itoman Morinobu’s ‘Thoughts on Martial Arts’.